Category Archives: Student life

Everything student life – from halls and flatting to recipes, advice, reviews, fashion and travel.

Ernest Rutherford’s connection to UC

The Nobel Prize Medal 1908. UC/RMED/405, Erik Linberg,
The Nobel Prize Medal 1908, UC/RMED/405, Erik Linberg.

Ernest Rutherford: New Zealand icon. He was born in Nelson in 1871 before attending Canterbury University. Rutherford was both the creator of modern atomic physics, and one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. The first discoveries made by Rutherford included: that elements can change their structure and that the atom was made up of a nucleus surrounded by electrons. However, Rutherford’s most important contribution to modern science was the splitting of the atom which secured his title as the world’s first successful alchemist. In 1890 as a young man Rutherford started at UC, which used to be called Canterbury College. Then in 1908 Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his discovery that elements can change their form from heavy, to slightly lighter. In 1914 Rutherford was knighted for his contribution to science. Rutherford died in 1937 as Ernest, Lord Rutherford of Nelson.

The University is closely connected to Rutherford. In 1971 the University honoured the legacy of Rutherford by naming the chemistry/physics building the Ernest Rutherford building. UC holds the Rutherford Medal Collection which was placed in the University’s care in 1938, following Rutherford’s death. The collection contains 36 medals, insignias and plaques. You can find more information about Ernest Rutherford in the Macmillan Brown Library collection and see replicas of the original medal collection on level 1 of the Rutherford building.

Anzac Biscuits

One of my favourite foods from New Zealand is hands down, Anzac biscuits. Anzac biscuits have been associated with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps since they fought together in World War One. During the war women baked hard, rock like biscuits made with simple ingredients such as: oats, butter and golden syrup, which gave them a long shelf life. These were then sent to the soldiers on the battlefront to give them energy along with a taste of home. Additionally biscuits similar to these (but not as hard!) were sold at fetes, and fairs to raise money for the war effort. For more history about ANZAC traditions look here:

Over time recipes developed and evolved into the modern day ANZAC biscuit, a variation on the original recipe that doesn’t break your teeth!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15-18 minutes
Makes: 30 small or 15 large

What you need:
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1 cup flour
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1 cup desiccated coconut
• 2 tbsp golden syrup
• 125g butter
• 2 tbsp water
• ½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 160°C and line two baking trays with non-stick paper. Combine the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar and coconut together in a large bowl. Heat together in a saucepan golden syrup, butter and water until the butter melts. Then add the baking soda and mix into the dry ingredients with a spoon until well combined.

Roll mixture into balls and place on the trays (with room for them to spread a bit!). Press lightly on the tops with a fork and then bake until golden (15-18 mins). Allow the biscuits to cool on the trays and harden.

Stored in an airtight container the biscuits will keep for two weeks.

Happy baking!

Volunteer, make a difference, feel the difference

Yes, volunteering is a selfless deed that is meant to make someone else better off; but it definitely has something in return for you. The returns are intangible but definitely lasting. That sense of direction, realisation or even inspiration gained is priceless and may steer your life down an entirely different path. This is exactly what happened to Anna Cusack, a Law student at UC who worked with families in Malawi earlier this year.

UC law student Anna Cusack in Malawi.
UC law student Anna Cusack in Malawi.

As one of five youth ambassadors for World Vision, Anna visited Malawi to attend the 40 hour famine annual fundraiser. This opportunity has left her with a sense of professional direction as she is seeking to carry out international aid and diplomacy work when she finishes her degree.

In her interview, she makes a thought provoking statement that “an awesome aspect to studying law at Canterbury is a real focus on giving back to the community. The law department is to make it compulsory to do a certain number of service hours helping in the community before completing a degree.”  Personally, I think this should be adopted by every department. In today’s world, where only the best survive, we often forget to help the ones lagging behind and in need and often forget to appreciate the simple things in life.

A university degree is meant to be holistic and making volunteering a requirement only enhances the intangible quality of the degree. The experiences, stories and reflections learnt and experienced only leave us as a better person. From personal experience, I can say that volunteering, especially for the things you care about, really does give you a sense of who you are and makes you realise what you stand for and where you come from. There’s just something about going out there and trying that gives you this sense of satisfaction and sudden can-do attitude and strength.

Start small, explore your options and find what you love. Trust me, it’s out there, you just need to be patient and open minded to find it .If you don’t know where to start or lack motivation and focus or are just looking for some support to get started, join one of the many volunteering clubs on campus. Some of the biggest and most well-known are of course the Student Volunteer Army, UC Red and 180 Degrees consulting for example. Here’s the link of the clubs on campus, if you’re keen to explore your options:

Volunteering not only enhances your personality and enriches your life, but also looks great on your C.V. So, get out of your shell, try new things, advocate what you stand for and get on with making a difference.